“Good deal: County Drug Court Saves Lives, Money”

The way Rebecca Robinson looked me in the eyes and told me how Buncombe County's Adult Treatment Court saved her life from an intense addiction to prescription narcotics was one of the most haunting moments I experienced all year. I hope that shining a light on her story and the program may have inspired others who struggle with addictions to seek help. — Jake Frankel, staff reporter

“‘If it weren't for drug court, I'd probably be dead,’ says Rebecca Robinson, reflecting on an eight-year addiction to painkillers that eventually landed her in Buncombe County's Adult Treatment Court.

An Asheville native, Robinson says she first started taking pharmaceuticals to deal with pain from ulcers and gallbladder surgery, but the habit started spiraling out of control as she went through a difficult divorce.

‘It was a roller coaster of depression and the Percocets seemed to numb my ability to deal with pain,’ she says, explaining that at her low point, she was taking 90 of the prescription narcotics a day. "I was in a deep, deep addiction, so much so that I couldn't get out.’

All of that changed in September 2007, however, when the 46-year-old mother of three and freelance cleaner was arrested for forging prescriptions in five counties and faced a choice: seven to nine years of jail time at the state penitentiary in Raleigh or enrollment in drug-treatment court, which offers qualifying nonviolent drug offenders like Robinson a strict program of probation, treatment and community service.”

To view the full story, visit http://avl.mx/1s.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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